Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Wednesday December 19.
Oracle's (ORCL) conference call showed record numbers in many areas; cloud and software revenues rose 18%, growth in Europe was at 12% and the U.S. and Asia were strong. Analysts, prior to the quarter, were worried that tech spending had slowed, but management said "so far, our customers have been spending money." Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems has proven to be, according to management, one of the most successful takeovers in the company's history. The Street had been critical of the acquisition as a waste of money, but critics have been proven wrong. Oracle is buying back a significant amount of shares, and after this "amazing, affirmative call," tech spending seems more robust.
The Dow was down 99 points on Wednesday, and the President didn't give any sign of a resolution to the fiscal cliff, but there was some good news about individual stocks. General Motors (GM) is buying $5 billion of stock from the U.S. government's TARP program. GM and other auto companies should continue to benefit from the car and truck buildout in the U.S. Cramer noted that many companies have strong balance sheets and are able to refinance at lower rates. The European economic climate seems to be improving, as governments on the Continent are successfully raising capital. The euro, which seemed moribund a year ago, is yet again one of the strongest currencies. Banco Santander (SAN) has risen to $8 from $4 in July. Cramer thinks China is going to see strong growth acceleration. Housing should continue to rebound, given the shortage of homes, and household debt is at a 17 year low. Stocks that were given up on, like Netflix (NFLX), have seen a resurgence. Netflix's deal with Disney (DIS) seems successful, and NFLX is one of the hottest stocks around. Investors stayed away from banks, fearing more regulation, but Bank of America (BAC) has risen 100% so far this year.
Cramer took a call:
Lockheed Martin (LMT) is just a dollar off its high. Cramer thinks it will see $100.
Cramer has recommended 13 break-up plays, and on average, these companies that split themselves up have gained 16%, and have beaten the S&P 500 by 5%. One laggard, however, among Cramer's breakup picks has been Hillshire Brands (HSH) the meat division spun off by Sara Lee. Prior to the breakup, Sara Lee offered a $3 per share dividend, which was good, but HSH has not been so strong, down 1% for the year. HSH was meant to be a slower growth business anyway, and no one expected it to take off like a rocket at first. However, Cramer thinks HSH might see significant upside in 2013, because it is undertaking restructuring, revamping its brands, inventing new products and updating its packaging. Management is also selling off assets and streamlining operations. One concern about HSH is that 60% of its costs are commodities, mainly meat. Farmers took many more animals than usual to market because of the drought, and there are worries that there will be a hog shortage next year, driving up prices. Cramer doesn't think these costs will be exorbitantly high. Cramer thinks that expectations for HSH are now so low that the company can easily beat them.
Cramer took some calls:
Darden (DRI) has great restaurants, but management has done a poor job executing. DRI has been missing numbers and while its dividend was the main reason to buy the stock, Cramer is now worried also about the yield.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) is a battleground stock. Cramer would stay away.
Walter Robb, Co-CEO, Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM)
Whole Foods (WFM) has risen 40% since last year, and co-CEO Walter Robb said that "2012 has been the greatest year in the history of the company." WFM is aggressively building new stores and including organic nail salons and pubs to make going to WFM "an experience," rather than just an errand. Walter Robb discussed including private label without sacrificing shelf space for brands customers expect to see. Cramer noted that WFM doesn't trade like other supermarkets, but is more of a growth stock, with strong same store sales; "This is going to be a fabulous stock for 2013," said Cramer.
Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS: Trade right alongside a Wall Street pro! Start your 14-day FREE trial today.
Get Cramer's Picks by email - it's free and takes only a few seconds to sign up.